• directions

It's time to get your First Night New Year's Eve admission buttons. The popular, non alcoholic holiday gala features over 70 entertainment programs at central locations from 4 p.m. till midnight for just $14. There are fireworks at midnight.

Opening ceremonies are set for 4 p.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace with entertainment by the Main Stage Singers, face painters and a trinket give-away.

The City will unveil its new Martin Z. Mollusk costumed character that will represent the mascot Hermit Crab in all parades and other functions. Free copies of Martin's biography and toy shell hermit crabs will be given away while they last. There will be night long entertainment for every age group.

First Night admission buttons will also entitle patrons access to Wonderland Amusement Rides and miniature golf from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Ocean City Restaurant Assn. will offer a Dinner Buffet.

Buttons and dinner reservations are available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Downtown Gillian's, 838B Asbury Ave., 609-391-0060 or access www.firstnightocnj.com.

Seats Available for Ocean City Repertory Theater's 'Christmas Eve Eve' Celebration. Hosted and staged by producing artistic director Flossi Micciolo, the event will combine holiday music, readings, food and festivities. The event will begin at 7 p.m., Dec. 23, at the Repertory Theater at 813 Asbury Ave., Ocean City. Traditional holiday refreshments will be served. The event is being sponsored by Councilman Keith Hartzell. For reservations, those interested can call (609) 457-6686. Additional information can also be found on the theater's Website at www.ocrep.org.

Free Christmas Dinner: A free home cooked dinner will again be provided to the community on Christmas day at the First United Methodist Church, 8th and Central Ave.The menu includes turkey with all of the fixings, plus plenty of desserts, music and a free table of clothing and gifts.The dinner is for all those who would like to spend time with a friendly group during the holiday. Doors open 11 a.m., Dec. 25. Take out and deliveries are available. Transportation is provided when needed. For a ride, general information, home delivery or to volunteer to cook, call 609-398-8781.

First Day At the Beach Plus: January 1st is a busy day at this family resort. The thousands of visitors who patronize First Night on New Year's Eve and stay over in local accommodations will have plenty to do the first day of 2011.

Here's what's happening:

There will be an ice sculpting display and entertainment starting 11 a.m. in front of the Music Pier.

The Martin Z. Mollusk character will pose for photos with children in a lifeboat in front of the Music Pier.

At 1 p.m. a 5K Boardwalk Run starts at the Music Pier. Entry fee is $20. All runners receive a T Shirt while they last. Registration begins at noon the day of the race at the site. Call Mike Givens, 609-861-0674 or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

First Night long sleeved commemorative shirts will be on sale for $20 in front of the Music Pier. Proceeds benefit First Night programs.

A First Dip in the Ocean is set for 2 p.m. at the Moorlyn Terrace Beach. About 400 enthusiastic bathers usually show up for a spirited and brief encounter with the ocean. All bathers receive a "Beach Nut" Certificate signifying they have braved the chill waters, signed by Martin Z. Mollusk, the City's weather predicting hermit crab and mascot.

Shoppers will be able to kick-off the New Year during First Day in the city's Asbury Ave. shopping district. Most stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Asbury Ave. features over 100 specialty stores and galleries.

For information, call the Public Relations Office, 609-525-9300.

The Ocean City Arts Center has scheduled a Bus Trip to New York for the popular Winter Antique Show at the Park Avenue Armory, 57th St. and Park Ave. The trip is $38 per person which does not include the $20 admission charge. The show is considered "the most prestigious in America." For information, call 609-399-7628. The Art Center will be closed through Jan 2 but will return calls.

The Arts Center will also begin its after school Children's Art Classes the week of Jan. 10th. Choose from Drawing, Painting and cartooning with local artist Nancy Palermo, Arts and Crafts for Kids with artist Phyllis London or the Kids Art Club with Rob Gummel. There will be instruction in Ballet and Tap for children plus Teen Jazz, Intro to Dance and Hip Hop. Sign up for Mommy and Me and spend a quality and fun class with your toddler. Art Center Winter Adult Classes also begin on January 10. For further information, call 609-399-7628 or visit www.oceancityartscenter.org.